How to find a sunscreen for the whole family

The beach bag is packed, the kids are in their bathers and somehow you’ve managed to track down everyone’s goggles. Now for the sunscreen – but which one?

With an astonishing array of sun creams, lotions and sprays to choose from, how do you find one that’s right for the whole family and does everything you need it to do?

Inspirational burns survivor Turia Pitt, who suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body in a 2011 bushfire, is more aware than most of the need to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

The ultramarathon runner says she became a fan of Avène products at a burns treatment centre in France.

“I’ve been using them ever since to soothe and protect my sensitive skin and so I was stoked a sunscreen range was introduced to Australia,” says the brunette beauty and new mum to son Hakavai.

The motivational speaker is heading the skin care brand’s latest campaign for its new SPF 50+ Sunscreen Sprays for adults and children, which are designed especially for sensitive skin.

Here’s what to look for in a family sunscreen:

Sensitive skin formula

When choosing a family sunscreen, look for one offering very high, broad spectrum sun protection from UVB and UVA rays, that’s also gentle enough for young and sensitive skins.

Children’s skin can be sensitive so a cream or spray for faces and bodies that’s also fragrance free is ideal.

“As a mum, you want a sunscreen that gives highest available SPF protection*, but is also gentle on your baby’s skin,” Turia says.

turia pitt

Water resistant

A keen surfer, Turia isn’t alone in saying she loves to carve up the waves outside her NSW south coast beach house with fiancé Michael Hoskin.

“When I’m outdoors, I’m in my happy place. It’s where I feel like I’m really ‘me’. I love surfing, running and swimming and I find if I’ve been inside for too long, I start going a bit crazy,” she says.

With 85 per cent of all Australians living within 50km of the coastline, we are a nation of water lovers – which makes choosing a water resistant sunscreen for your family a must.

Sunscreens labelled water resistant have to pass independent tests to prove they retain their stated SPF for a certain time, even after we’ve been swimming or sweating.

But don’t forget to reapply at least every 2 hours, and after 40 minutes of swimming, or sweating, and immediately after towel drying.

Easy absorption

On an average summer weekend one in eight adults suffers sunburn. And even on cooler, overcast days, sun exposure can still cause burning, damage to skin cells, and increase your risk of developing certain skin cancers.

That means we have to protect our brood when outdoors, even if the sun is hidden behind clouds.

You’ll find it easier to get the kids enthusiastic about “slip, slop, slap, seek and sliding” if the sunscreen you choose is light, non-greasy, and is easily absorbed into the skin without the white marks.

turia pitt

And finally …

With the bags unpacked, the beach towels out, the sunscreen on, and the kids engaged in all that the Aussie great outdoors has to offer, all that’s left is to enjoy.

As Turia says with her trademark optimism: “Life’s awesome!”

This post is brought to you by Avene SPF50+ Sunscreen Spray 200mL and Avene SPF50+ Sunscreen Spray for Children 200mLAlways read the label. Follow the instructions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Frequent re-application is required for effective sun protection. Wear protective clothing, hats, and eyewear when exposed to the sun.

Avene SPF50+ Sunscreen Spray 200mL and Avene SPF50+ Sunscreen Spray for Children 200mL contains the following active ingredients: Octocrylene 9%w/v, Methyl Bis-Benzotriazoyl Tetramethylbutylphenol 4% w/v, Titanium Dioxide 3.4%w/v, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 3%w/v, and Bemotrizinol 2% w/v.

*highest claim allowed allowed as per AS/NZS 2064:2012. Very High. SPF50+. Broad Spectrum.